Weeds in Nana’s Garden

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Weeds in Nana's garden (cover)

Book Details

Weeds in Nana’s Garden
Kathryn Harrison. Ontario: Flipturn Publishing, pb, 978 0 9949 4670 6, 2016, £8.25, 32pp.
Picture book, fiction 3-9 years

In this beautifully written and illustrated book, Canadian author and illustrator Kathryn Harrison uses her own experience as a carer to explore the difficult subject of Alzheimer’s with sensitivity and tenderness.

She does not shy away from the hurt and confusion which young children can feel when faced with someone they love becoming ill. The young girl in the story loves her Nana and her garden full of flowers and fairies. Her Nana looks after the garden with such care, but slowly we see the progression of Alzheimer’s as the young girl notices that weeds are growing in the garden and her Nana is not able to do the things she could before. The use of the garden and the tangle of weeds by the girl’s mother as an analogy for how Alzheimer’s affects the brain is excellent.

This book is a beautiful story of the power of love, family and nature. The well-thought-out question and answer section will help those using this book to give children an understanding and awareness of this illness which affects so many people. Parents, carers, teachers and health professionals will all find this book a wonderful starting point for discussion.

Review by Suzie A